Magazine
PUNK ROCK WHAT NEXT?
Plain Truth Magazine
December 1977
Volume: Vol XLII, No.10
Issue:
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PUNK ROCK WHAT NEXT?

   You'd think the older generation would be grateful to see a little short hair for a change. But green and pink crew cuts combed into spikes? Pierced noses embellished with gold safety pins? Tattered T-shirts and stenciled swastikas?
   The wardrobe of the new wave of youthful music/protest (dubbed "punk" or "punk rock") includes all the above paraphernalia, plus a wide array of accessories specially designed to shock, alienate, or "gross out" establishment types: iron crosses, chains, smelly tennis shoes, garter belts, knives, and various L other more X-rated accoutrements.
   And if people don't find punk looks repulsive enough, punk antics include spitting, vomiting, using vibrators onstage, hurling insults at audiences, and screaming out a gut-wrenching brand of elemental rock consisting more of overwhelming noise than music.
   The punk movement began in Britain among jobless working-class youths frustrated by an aimless lifestyle. Devotees display a great deal of inward-directed violence. They pierce lips, ears and noses with safety pins joined by chains. Punk-rock performers have in their more outlandish moments slashed themselves with needles, burned themselves with cigarettes, and bashed their hands into guitars onstage.
   Their personal life-styles reflect a similar attitude. Concerned mostly with "getting it on" behaving promiscuously they throw most convention and order out the window.
   Politically, of course, they are devoted to anarchy deposing the monarchy, smashing the establishment, ignoring all authority.
   One young punker, advocating the violent overthrow of parliament and the monarchy, believes that England "needs another Hitler" to bomb the country and recreate the anarchical ambience of the last world war.
   Punk-rock groups have been banned from appearing many places in Britain, their records going unplayed on top-forty stations. Nonetheless, the punk group Sex Pistols' first album, God Save the Queen ("She ain't no human being"), sold 1,800 copies the first day it was released.
   Punk has already spread to the colonies. Los Angeles and New York have a dozen or so groups each, and the phenomenon is gaining momentum now due to a minor barrage of media hype.
   Retailers across the U.S. are gearing up for a consumer run on punk items like ripped and pinned T-shirts, and one New York store features $100 gold safety pins.
   Perhaps musically and politically conservative folks thought things were getting better when hard metal rock mellowed into disco music. But apparently a vacuum existed and punk, with its underlying philosophy of anarchy and nihilism, filled that empty space in the hearts of youth looking for a new way to rebel.
   Perhaps American punkers are only following another commercialized British fad. But if this new wave" of music does indicate a significant social undercurrent, it could be echoing the mindset of a generation who feel they have no frontiers, goals or challenges to stir them to productive action.

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Plain Truth MagazineDecember 1977Vol XLII, No.10
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